Choosing A Major

Choosing a Major is usually one of those things many students tend to run into quickly and run out of quickly. DON'T PANIC!! With constraints including time, money, family, and future goals no wonder so many students rush in and out of majors. Many end up with extra credits, extra years in college, and extra money to pay back. But remember NOT to Panic! Though some students do come to college with a major chosen, you would be surprised to see how many students do not have a major when they first arrive

In addition to this, did you know that the majority of students change their major at least once throughout their college experience, and many students change their major multiple times. College is the time for you to choose a major, get an education, and prepare for your career. WHAT CAN I DO WITH THIS MAJOR?

The Choosing A Major Model you see above guides you through the process of successfully finding, not only a major but a purposeful career that encompasses your strengths, passions, talents, values, and personality. Spend time discovering what you were created to do. Keep in mind that choosing a major is a journey, and journeys require time and resources, and oftern pitstops, u-turns, and detours. Don't be discouraged, and if at any point you get stuck feel free to visit us at the Counseling and Testing Center or at Student Success.



Self-Assessment consists of identifying and understanding interests, skills, values, personalities, and spirituality as the foundation for planning and decision making.

  • Visit a Career Counselor @ the Counseling and Testing Center
  • Complete a Self-Assessment. For a list of complete Self-Assessment questions check out the Career Planning section.
  • Career Assessments can be administered at the Counseling and Testing Center, check out AU Career Services for a complete list of Career Assessments.
  • "Know Who You Are!"


Our interests and abilities give us an in depth look at what drives us, what we are passionate about, as well as what we have to offer. Your ultimate goal is to find a career where you are "DOING WHAT YOU LOVE!" which can in some instances stem out directly from your interests and abilities.

  • What are your hobbies?
  • What do you like to do on your free time?
  • What are you good at?
  • What were your favorite subjects in High School?
  • Have you received awards, recognition, or acalaids for what subject/topic/or event?
  • What activities can you do all day without getting bored or anxious?


When choosing a major/career the things about your life that are most important to you need to be taken into consideration. So that you can appropriately choose a career path that will align with your values. It can affect how satisfied/unsatisfied you are in your choice of work. Ask yourself:

  • What do you value in life?
  • What do you value within family, friendships, relationships, work, etc?


Personality refers to the individual qualities that make each person unique. Understanding your personality enables you to search for careers that match you rather than trying to make yourself match a career. Assessments such as the 16PF, Achievement Works, and others can aid you in developing a greater understanding of your personality and the careers that are most suitabe for it. 

  • How do you make decisions?
  • How do you work best with others?
  • What is your ideal work environment?


Understanding and realizing what role spirituality plays in your decision making will serve as a better guide to living a purposeful life.

  • What role does God and spirituality play in your decision making?
  • What spiritual gifts/abilities did God equip you with?
  • How could you incorporate your desire and passion for God within the field of interest?
  • Where has God called you?

For questions regarding spirituality, God, and How to Know God's Will for your life contact Spiritual Life.


Career Exploration gives you the opportunity get a sense for what the field entails. Everything from the salary, skills needed, work environment, work requirements, to how in demand that particular field is. It's a great way to get a holistic picture of the field of interest.

  • Do basic research
  • Research career trends, basic major or career information search, job shadowing, informational interviews (advisors, friends, family, or employers currently working in the field of interest), classes and course work in the interested major, required certification for work, etc.
  • For research assistance check out "What Can I Do With This Major?" and the "Bureau of Labor Statistics"


Now it's time to evaluate where you are and what you have concluded from your journey.

  • Gather all the information you have collected about yourself and about the field and narrow options down to no more than 3 options.
  • Set GOALS! What is it you want to be, do, have with and without options? (short and long term goals)
  • Time for a Reality Check! Where are you in terms of your goals?
  • What is really happening at this moment? Review problems.
  • Make note of any assumptions that are being made.
  • Think of all possible obstacles that may come up in relation to that goal.
  • Brainstorm different actions you are going to need to take to achieve these goals. (Don't limit yourself to one).


This is where you move onto what you WILL begin to do. In other words your Action Plan.

  • What are you going to need to know?
  • Plan which options you are going to act on right now and how long it will take to accomplish that goal?
  • Who do you need to meet, talk, and work with?
  • Make a commitment to your plan.

Whatever your Action Plan entails make sure any action is taken in this last step! And remember this journey may take you more than one try, but don't be discouraged you will complete the journey!